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Service Assessment and Failure of Earth Structures

Objective

In unsaturated soils, pores are filled partly by water and partly by air. Unsaturated soils occur naturally (as superficial ground above the water table) or in manmade structures (as compacted earth in infrastructure embankments, underground nuclear waste repositories and flood defences). Unsaturated soil mechanics has experienced significant advances during recent years, instigated by the use of compacted earth as sustainable building material and by the pressing need of the construction industry to improve techniques for management and appraisal of earth structures. Seminal contributions to unsaturated soil mechanics have been made over the past two decades but the current state-of-the-art is still unable to provide an accurate understanding of pre-failure behaviour in compacted soils, which is crucial to ensure long-term serviceability and cost-effective maintenance of earth structures. Mechanical non-linerarity and dependency of small strain stiffness, as well as damping, on stress history are important properties not properly described by existing constitutive models.
Understanding the response of compacted soils at small strains is not only central to applications in engineering dynamics, such as predicting ground motion during earthquakes or next to high-speed railways, but also to the analysis of earth structures under static loads of service. The proposed project will contribute to fill such gaps of knowledge by pursuing two intertwined lines of investigations. Firstly, it will undertake a wide-ranging testing programme on samples compacted both in the laboratory and in-situ following standard procedures to ensure comparable material fabrics. Secondly, it will validate a constitutive model capable of describing mechanical behaviour from small to large strains and finally it will implement the model in a finite element code to analize the behaviour on an earth structure under service and failure conditions and compare simulation results with field monitoring.

Field of science

  • /engineering and technology/civil engineering/structural engineering

Call for proposal

FP7-PEOPLE-2011-CIG
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

MC-CIG - Support for training and career development of researcher (CIG)

Coordinator

UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI NAPOLI FEDERICO II
Address
Corso Umberto I, 40
80138 Napoli
Italy
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 50 000
Administrative Contact
Claudio Mancuso (Prof.)